The macro hypocrisy is in all of us.
There is a normal hypocrisy — like fibbing and speeding. We all do it. We know it’s wrong but we do it anyway. We care little if we displease the Lord. That’s the detail, the minutiae of our daily lives.
We think we’re “good” in the macro sense. That, it seems, is what we believe is most important. We may live hypocritically in the detail but think we’re in good shape when it comes to what’s really important. But are we, really? I see a lot of rank-and-file progressives who live more conservative lives than evangelicals. Likewise many evangelicals live by progressive principles in a way that satisfies progressive leaders — more than we know.
Consumerism — the idea that being a consumer is more important that being a producer — was a mid-20th-century phenomenon. It began in earnest with household conveniences (initially from the 20s to the 50s) , reinforced by the growth of urban culture in the 50s , and then was reinforced by suburban flight in the 60s and later. The revision of home loan requirements in the 60s added real estate to the list of consumer commodities. Tech came in the 80s and later, with hand-held devices starting their explosion in 2007.
We freed our wives and daughters to minimize human relationships and make money at impersonal jobs.
The positions of progressive and evangelical leaders alike might both differ from the virtues practices by each — and by the rank-and-file.
Evangelicals talk about being modest, content, etc. Yet we have to get that next iPhone upgrade. We want to reinforce home life but encourage young men and women to enter the careers and such which detract from home life. We like our suburban homes and our investments.
Progressive leaders speak of advancing workplace opportunity all but the rank-and-file looks for authentic experiences. Get-your-hands-dirty gardening. Hunting and fishing. Cycling. The rank-and-file is, as a sort of hold-over from the 60s, working to escape the consumerism promoted by people they vote for.
It seems both groups of political movers are out of touch with their rank-and-file. And the rank-and-file isn’t voting its virtue but its tradition. Perhaps such brand loyalty comes from consumerism as well — or maybe it’s just habit.